How to learn English if you are shy

Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am going to help you become a better speaker, especially if you are shy. Okay? So, a lot of people when they learn new languages, they’re very embarrassed and they’re too shy to speak. This video will help you with good tips and strategies on how to become more confident in your speaking. So let’s get started. Okay, so the first thing I like to tell shy people, so people who are afraid to speak, is: You need to find your strengths. You need to ask yourself: “What am I good at?” Because a lot of the times, shy people, they think: “Oh my goodness, I’m not good at speaking, I’m terrible at English, I’ll never learn this language”, and they feel really sad. But that’s not usually true.

Usually shy people are good at many different things, they just don’t realize it. So remember: English is not only speaking. Speaking is part of it, but there are other skills, too. Maybe you’re a great listener. Okay? Maybe you’re good at grammar. Maybe you’re not good at all grammar, but you’re amazing at the present perfect or the simple past. You know, maybe you’re good at reading or writing. So it’s good to recognize what you’re good at so you don’t feel so sad when you’re learning English, because you might be good at a lot of different things. So, you can always write down on a piece of paper: “I am able to”, you know, listen very well, or: “I am able to do well on my grammar test.” Okay? So think about: What are your strengths? My next tip is probably one of the most important tips.

When you’re trying to learn a language, especially when you’re shy, it’s good to make goals and to write them down. Okay? So what do I mean by goals? Well, for example, I have three goals here and I’m going to talk about each of them. Somebody’s goal might be: “I will be a better speaker.” Or they might say: “I will say two things in class today.” Or: “I will ask two people: ‘How is your day going?'” So these are all goals, but these goals are not all great goals. What do I mean by that? Well, this first goal: “I will be a better speaker”, you will not know if you’ve become a better speaker or not. This goal, it’s too big so I would not use this goal. Okay? When you make a goal it’s good to make something where you have a number in it, and you can tell very easily: Did you do it or didn’t you do it? So, for example: “I will say two things in class today”, this is a great goal because you know: “Okay, I said two things in class, I met my goal for the day.” This will really help you with speaking, especially if you’re shy.

Maybe you’re too shy even to say two things in class, so maybe you can say one thing in class or maybe for the first class you can just listen and try for the next class to say one thing. Okay? Another example of a great goal is: “I will ask two”, and again, this can be any number. “I will ask two people: ‘How is your day going today?'” So just by making goals, it can really encourage you to speak and practice your English, and you will improve this way because it is important to speak as much as you can.

This way, you know, it’s not too difficult, it’s something you can do. The other key point here is: Write down your goals. I think it’s great to have a journal or a diary where you write down your daily goal, and then at the end of the week you can check it off and see: Did I meet this goal? Hopefully you did, and that way you can actually monitor your English progress.

So now let’s look at some more tips. Okay, so my next tip is very important, too: Don’t compare yourself to extroverts. So, what is an extrovert? It’s the opposite of a shy person. So, an extrovert is somebody who everybody pays attention to because they love to talk, they’re great in social situations, they’re usually with friends or out with people. So, an extrovert is somebody who’s not really shy. So, what a lot of shy people do is they compare themselves. They see the extrovert, and they think: “Wow, I wish I was just like that person.

That person’s speaking is so good. Why can’t I speak like that?” It’s very common to compare yourself, but it’s not a good idea, because number one, it’s possible that person is making a lot of mistakes. You just don’t realize it. And it’s great that they have confidence, but you know, it’s not good to compare yourself because there are things you’re doing that are probably very good that you’re not really thinking about. Okay? So if you compare yourself, you’ll just feel sad and you won’t learn as much. It’s better to try to feel better and not compare yourself.

Another thing is: Learn key phrases. The more you practice certain sentences, the easier they are to say. So this way, you don’t have to spend all your time thinking: “Oh my god, what am I going to say? I don’t know what to say. I’m really nervous.” Instead, if you practice key sentences enough, then it becomes very easy to say them. You won’t have to think about them so hard. So an example of this is when you meet somebody and you’re trying to, you know, talk to them about their day: “What is keeping you busy these days?” or “How is your day going so far?” So you can… You can ask these types of questions, and when you say them enough you don’t have to worry about the grammar, you don’t…

You won’t have to worry about your pronunciation. You can just practice. Or, you know, for when you’re at a restaurant: “I’d like a tea please.”, “I’d like a coffee please.”, “I’d like milk please.” So just memorizing key sentences can really help you, especially if you’re shy and a shy speaker. Okay, my next tip: Visualize. So what does this mean? When you visualize you close your eyes and in your head you imagine something.

So it’s not real, it’s in your head, but visualizing is very, very… It’s a good way to practice your English. So what I recommend is actually imagine you’re in a conversation with somebody, and you can imagine: What are you going to say and what will the person say? This is a great way to practice, and there’s a lot of science behind how… How amazing visualizing something can be and how it can really help you learn. Okay? So if you have a presentation, before the presentation imagine what you’re going to say. If you’re meeting somebody for the first time, imagine what you’re going to say and what they’re going to say. This will help you be less nervous and it can really help you in terms of your language using better language in those situations.

Okay, my next tip, it’s similar to this one, a little bit different, is: Talk to yourself in front of a mirror. A lot of the times you might be too shy to talk to somebody. You might feel your heart beat very quickly and you might feel a lot of stress, so you can practice first by talking to yourself in front of a mirror. This way you can feel comfortable and you’re still learning. You know, practicing those phrases in front of a mirror means you’re actually, you know, still learning them and still using them, and they will then become easier to use. So I highly recommend this tip. All right, now let’s look at some more tips on how to learn when we are shy. Okay, so my next tip has to do with the environment you’re in. Okay? So if you are in a bar, or maybe you’re in a classroom, or maybe a meeting, and my tip is: Become comfortable in the environment you’re going to speak in. A lot of people feel very nervous before they speak, and that’s okay.

One way to help you make your, like, you know, to become less nervous is to get used to the environment where you’re going to speak in. So what do I mean by this? Well, for example, imagine you’re going to be giving a meeting… Or, sorry, not a meeting. A presentation. Try to look at the room before you give the presentation. Try to see how it all looks like. Get used to that environment. The more used to an environment you are, the less you will feel stressed when you’re speaking in it. Same with a bar, you know, maybe you could go to the same bar and get used to that environment so then you’re less nervous when you speak. Okay? So try to become comfortable with your environment. If you can’t go to the environment, you can at least maybe look at pictures online, you know, Google images for example and maybe you can do some visualization. So even though you’re not there, you can imagine yourself there.

That can also help. Okay, the next tip: Find other shy people. A lot of the times students are looking for conversation buddies. If you’re shy it’s sometimes good to have a shy conversation buddy because that way, you know, you can both understand each other better and you don’t have one person talking the whole time where you’re just listening. So if you find another shy conversation buddy you’re probably going to speak a bit more. It’s also good to have extroverted friends, you know, sometimes that takes off pressure because you don’t have to speak then. But I would recommend finding other shy people, maybe shy people in your class or shy people in a conversation circle, that way you can really benefit from the understanding you both have of each other.

This is also sort of similar: Find people with the same hobbies as yourself. A lot of the times when we speak about things we like, it’s easier for us to talk than when we speak about things we don’t know about. So if you go to a conversation circle, you know, try to find somebody who has the same hobbies as you. If you like reading, maybe you could join a book club. Or if you like movies, maybe you could join a film club. If you like skiing, you can join a ski club. Or you can find people who have similar interests. There’s a lot of great meetup groups that, you know, you can find people who are interested in the same things as you.

Okay, my next tip has to do with what your body is doing while you’re speaking. There’s a lot of science behind how a smile can really make you feel better. So when you’re speaking, it’s good to do something called the smile breathing technique. This is where you smile and you breathe. Okay? It takes a little time, maybe, to get used to that, but when you’re breathing it makes you less nervous and when you’re smiling it makes you less nervous. So be aware of your body language. If you’re like this, you’re going to feel a lot more nervous than if you’re bigger, and you’re taking deep breaths, and you’re smiling. Okay? You can also do power poses before any speaking. I have a video on this. You can find it in the links in the description, and there you will see some great poses you can do before you speak to somebody. These body movements will make you feel more confident before you go out and speak, so I recommend that video. Another thing you can do is you can choose conversation topics you’re comfortable with. So if you’re going to a bar, think about some things you would like to talk about.

Maybe you love talking about cooking or maybe, you know, again, you’re really into movies. So finding conversations you can have with people on subjects you’re comfortable with will help you feel less nervous than if you’re talking about something you have no idea about. Okay, my next tip: Make mistakes. A lot of people who are shy are also afraid to make mistakes. They worry that if they make a mistake it will be embarrassing for them. Now, it’s really hard to do this, but you have to get used to making mistakes. Making mistakes is very, very important for learning a language. So one thing you can do is you can tell yourself every day, you know, when you wake up: “Today I want to make some mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.” This can also help with your confidence. If you tell yourself you can make mistakes then it will probably give you more chance to speak because you won’t be so afraid of making mistakes. Another tip is the FORD technique. I have a video that you can get through the links in the description about what’s called the FORD technique.

This is a great way to make small talk or to talk to people you don’t know well. I have a whole video on how you can improve your conversation using the FORD technique, so I hope you check out that video and it will actually really help you in terms of knowing what to talk about when it’s quiet or knowing what to talk about when you don’t really know somebody that well. Okay, so again… Actually, one more tip I don’t have on the board, but my last tip I would say is: Make sure when you’re shy and you actually speak, reward yourself.

Okay? You know, if you have a goal: “Today I’m going to speak two times in class”, and you do it, do something nice for yourself. It’s very easy when you’re shy to be very hard on yourself and to constantly tell yourself, oh, you know: “I wish I was more confident, there’s something wrong with me. You know, I don’t like this about myself.” Be a little bit easier on yourself and reward yourself because it’s not easy learning a language when you’re shy. It’s good to recognize that and to also, you know… To also reward yourself so you know you’re doing good. Okay? Because you are. Following these tips and making goals are a great way in order to help you with your shyness. You know, a lot of the times it will never go away completely and that’s okay. What you really want to do is just improve so you’re able to talk more in conversations.

Okay? You’re able to meet more people. You don’t have to be perfect at conversation. What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to get better at conversation, and these tips will really help you with that. So for more tips and more resources, I invite you to subscribe to my channel. I have a lot on speaking, a lot on pronunciation, on listening, on grammar, and vocabulary, and many more topics. So I recommend you check that out. I also recommend you come visit our website at www.engvid.com. There, we actually have a quiz where you can practice all the tips you learned today and you can also check out more resources on a variety of topics by many different teachers. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, and until next time, take care.

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